North Pacific Groundfish
Alaska Shellfish (Crab)
West Coast Groundfish
Pacific Islands Region
Alaska Marine Mammal
Alaska Shellfish (Crab) Observer Program
The Bering Sea is world renowned for its enormously productive fisheries, and Alaska king and snow crab are two of the crown jewels. Commercial fishermen use large steel pots to harvest red, blue, and golden king crab and snow crab in fisheries that are both intense and spectacular.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) manages the crab fisheries by quota, and observers play a key role in the sustainability of these remarkable resources. Observers work onboard vessels collecting data on catch, bycatch, and fishing effort, as well as encounters with threatened birds, fish, and corals. ADF&G uses the observer data to set and manage annual harvest quotas, monitor bycatch, and track fishing effort.